Creating the Best Atmosphere For Your Baby to Sleep
Babies are particularly sensitive to their surroundings. Creating a soothing environment helps baby to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. To help your infant get the best sleep possible, allowing yourself some much needed rest in the process, create an environment that is relaxing to all of your baby’s senses. This will help condition your baby to see sleep as pleasant.
Choose soft colors for baby’s sleep area. Avoid loud or garish color schemes. The bold reds, blacks, and whites are fine for stimulating baby’s senses when she is awake, but when it’s time for her to fall asleep, she needs to see soft, relaxing hues. Pastel pinks, blues, lavenders, or any other muted color sets the right tone for baby to relax.
Some babies sleep best when it’s silent, but for other babies, you should fill their sleeping area with soft, repetitive sound. Babies respond differently to different sounds, so try a few until one clicks for you and baby. Soothing sounds, ranging from ocean waves to soft rhythmic clicking to simulated womb sounds, are available to purchase for playing to baby while he sleeps. You might also try singing or playing soft recorded music for baby to sleep to. Light classical music or lullabies are both good options. Virtually any soft, repetitive noise can be tried to help baby fall asleep. Try turning a fan on in the room, or a metronome, set to roughly the same speed as a heartbeat. Make sure that sudden, distracting noises are minimized in baby’s sleeping area. This might mean turning the phone off, leaving the animals outside, or whatever it takes to keep the noise at a low level. That’s not to say that you can’t continue to live or have conversations while baby is asleep; most babies can sleep through normal conversational volume.
Baby’s room should be free of strong scents. While some smells might appeal to us, and might even appeal to baby’s senses, strong aromas stimulate baby, potentially keeping her from sleeping. On the other hand, light scents like lavender or vanilla can be soothing. While not likely to put baby to sleep by themselves, they might help her stay relaxed once she’s asleep.
Finally, make sure baby is warm and feels secure. For infants under three months, swaddling usually helps baby relax. For older babies, use looser covers, but make sure that baby is warm enough.